Town of Waterford, NY
Saratoga County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Waterford, Saratoga County, New York."
[Amended 2-2-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]
For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, morals, comfort and general welfare; conserving and protecting property and property values; securing the most appropriate use of land; lessening or avoiding congestion in the public streets and highways; and facilitating adequate but economical provision of public improvements, all in accordance with a Comprehensive Plan, the Town Board finds it necessary and advisable to regulate the location, size and use of buildings and other structures; percentages of lot area which may be occupied; setback building lines; sizes of yards, courts and other open spaces; and the use of land for trade, industry, residences, recreation or other purposes, and for such purpose, divides the unincorporated area of the Town into districts or zones. Said districts are bounded and defined as shown on a map entitled "Zoning Map of the Town of Waterford, Saratoga County, New York," adopted February 2, 2004, and certified by the Town Clerk, which accompanies as Appendix A and which with all explanatory matter thereon, is hereby made a part of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
In the construction of this chapter, the rules and definitions contained in this section shall be observed and applied.
B. 
Word usage.
(1) 
Words used in the present tense shall include the future; and words used in the singular number shall include the plural number, and the plural the singular.
(2) 
The word "shall" is mandatory; the word "may" is permissive.
(3) 
The word "lot" shall include the words "plot," "piece" and "parcel"; the word "building" includes all other structures of every kind, regardless of similarity to buildings: and the phrase "used for" shall include the phrases "arranged for," "designed for," "intended for," "maintained for" and "occupied for."
(4) 
The word "person" includes a corporation as well as an individual.
C. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY USE
A use or building customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use or building and located on the same lot with such principal use or building.
AGRICULTURE
See "customary agricultural uses."
ALTERATION
As applied to a building or structure, a change or rearrangement in the structural parts or in the exit facilities or in enlargement, whether by extending on a side or by increasing in height, or the moving from one location or position to another.
AREA, BUILDING
The total of areas taken on a horizontal plane at the main grade level of the principal building and all accessory buildings, exclusive of uncovered porches, terraces and steps.
AREA, LOT
The total area within the property lines.
AUTOMOBILE WRECKING YARD
The use of any area or portion of any lot or plot, whether inside or outside a building, for the temporary storage of automobiles awaiting dismantling or the dismantled parts of automobiles or for the dismantling, cutting, demolition or burning of automobiles.
AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR
The repair, rebuilding or reconditioning of motor vehicles or parts thereof, including collision service, painting and steam cleaning of vehicles.
BASEMENT
A story partly below ground but having at least 1/2 of its height above the average grade of the adjoining ground.
BOARDINGHOUSE
A private dwelling in which at least four but not more than 10 sleeping rooms are offered for rent and table board may be furnished to roomers and in which no transients are accommodated. A rooming house or furnished room house shall be deemed a boardinghouse.
BUILDING
Any roof structure intended for the shelter, housing or enclosure of persons, animals or property. When a building is divided into separate parts extending from the ground up, each part so divided is deemed a separate building.
BUILDING, HEIGHT OF
The vertical distance measured from the average elevation of the proposed finished grade at the front of the building to the highest point of the roof for flat roofs, to the deck line of mansard roofs and to the mean height between eaves and ridge for gable, hip and gambrel roofs.
BUILDING LINES
The building front line shall mean the line of that face of the building nearest the front line of the lot. This face includes sun parlors and covered porches, whether enclosed or not enclosed, but does not include steps. Side and rear building lines shall be determined in a comparative manner.
BUILDING, PRINCIPAL
A building in which is conducted the main or principal use of the lot on which said building is situated.
CAMP
Any one or more of the following, other than a hospital, place of detention or school offering general instruction:
(1) 
Any area of land or water on which are located two or more cabins, tents, trailers, shelters, houseboats or other accommodations of a design or character suitable for seasonal or other more or less temporary living purposes, regardless of whether such structures or other accommodations actually are occupied seasonally or otherwise.
(2) 
Any land, including any building thereon, used for any assembly of persons for what is commonly known as "day camp" purposes; and any of the foregoing establishments, whether or not conducted for profit and whether or not occupied by adults or by children, either as individuals, families or groups.
CELLAR
A story partly underground and having more than 1/2 of its clear height below the average level of the adjoining ground. A cellar shall not be considered in determining the permissible number of stories.
CLUB or LODGE
A building or portion thereof or premises owned and/or operated by a corporation, association, person or persons for a social, educational or recreational activity, but not primarily for profit or to render a service which is customarily carried on as a business.
(1) 
A retail commercial establishment, not exceeding 140 square meters of gross floor area, supplying groceries and other daily household necessities to the immediate surrounding area.
(2) 
An establishment where food, tobacco, drugs, periodicals or similar items of household convenience are kept for retail sale to residents of the immediate neighborhood.
(3) 
Any retail establishment with a gross leasable area of 186 square meters or less that is primarily engaged in retail dealings in goods required by the inhabitants of a residential district to meet their day-to-day needs, but shall not include a store catering primarily to the requirements of a commercial district.
(4) 
A retail store in which articles for sale are restricted to a limited range of primarily food items such as milk, bread, soft drinks, ice cream, canned and bottled goods, snacks and candy and meat, and to complement such items may include the limited sale of magazines, books and records, housewares, toilettries, stationery and tobacco products.
(5) 
An establishment where food stuffs, tobacco, patent medicines, periodicals and other similar items of household convenience are kept for retail sale to the public.
COVERAGE
That percentage of the plot or lot area covered by the building area.
CUSTOMARY AGRICULTURAL USES
Ordinarily, the raising of crops, livestock or poultry, fruit or fur-bearing animals. Where interpretation is required to determine whether a particular activity constitutes a customary agricultural use, the Board of Appeals shall consider whether said type of activity is traditional in the Town of Waterford and is recognized as an agricultural pursuit by a government agency or by an agricultural bureau.
DUMP
A lot or land part thereof used primarily for the disposal, by abandonment, dumping, burial, burning or any other means and for whatever purpose, of garbage, sewage, trash, refuse, junk, discarded machinery, vehicles or parts thereof or waste material of any kind. One cubic yard or more of refuse not removed for four weeks during the period from April 1 to November 1 may be decreed to be "refuse dump."
DWELLING
A building designed or used as the living quarters for one or more families. The terms "dwelling," "one-family dwelling," "multiple dwelling," "two-family dwelling" or "dwelling group" shall not be deemed to include automobile courts, rooming houses or tourist homes.
(1) 
A detached building containing one dwelling unit only.
(2) 
A detached building containing two dwelling units.
(3) 
A building or portion thereof containing three or more dwelling units.
DWELLING UNIT
A room or group of rooms providing complete housekeeping facilities for one family and occupied by a single family unit plus not more than three lodgers.
FAMILY
One or more persons who live together as a single housekeeping unit and maintain a common household, as distinguished from a group occupying a boardinghouse, lodging house, club, fraternity or hotel. A "family" may consist of a single person or of two or more persons, whether or not related by blood, marriage or adoption. A "family" may also include domestic servants and gratuitous guests.
FARM
See "customary agricultural uses."
FENCE
A hedge, structure or partition erected for the purpose of enclosing a piece of land or to divide a piece of land into distinct portions or to separate two contiguous estates.
FILLING STATION
Any area of land, including structures thereon, that is used or designed to be used for the supply of gasoline or oil or other fuel for the propulsion of motor vehicles and which may include facilities used or designed to be used for polishing, greasing, washing, spraying, dry cleaning or otherwise cleaning or servicing such motor vehicles.
GARAGE, PRIVATE
An enclosed space for the storage of one or more motor vehicles, provided that no business, occupation or service is conducted for profit therein nor space therein for more than one car is leased to a nonresident of the premises.
GARAGE, PUBLIC
Any garage, other than a private garage, available to the public, operated for gain and which is used for the storage, repair, rental, greasing, washing, servicing, adjusting or equipping of automobiles or other motor vehicles.
GREENSPACE
That portion of land on a site plan, development plan, Comprehensive Plan or Official Map whose purpose is intended for open space preservation, recreation (active or passive), landscaping or parkland. Unless otherwise required by the Planning or Town Boards, said lands shall be undisturbed and seeded and planted with appropriate materials or left in their natural state. They will not contain buildings or structures other than fences and shall not be used for display or storage of any merchandise or used for the parking of vehicles.
[Added 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 9-1997]
HOME OCCUPATION
An accessory use of a service character customarily conducted within a dwelling by the residents thereof, which is clearly secondary to the use of the dwelling for living purposes and does not change the character thereof or have any exterior evidence of such secondary use other than a small nameplate as provided in Article V, and in connection therewith there is not involved the keeping of a stock-in-trade. The office of a physician, surgeon, dentist, lawyer or other professional person, including an instructor in violin, piano or other individual musical instrument, limited to a single pupil at a time, who offers skilled services to clients and is not professionally engaged in the purchase or sale of economic goods, shall be deemed to be a home occupation, and the occupations of dressmakers, milliner or seamstress or of a real estate or insurance agent, each with not more than one paid assistant, shall be deemed to be home occupations. Dancing instruction, band instrument instruction in groups, tearooms, tourist homes, beauty parlors, convalescent homes, mortuary establishments and stores, trades or businesses of any kind not herein excepted shall not be deemed to be home occupations.
HOTEL, MOTEL, INN or TOURIST OR AUTO COURT
An establishment containing lodging accommodations designed for use by transients or travelers or temporary guests, with no provision in said accommodations for cooking in any individual room or suite.
JUNKYARD
A lot, land or structure, or part thereof, used for the collecting, storage and sale of wastepaper, rags, scrap metal or discarded material or for the collecting, dismantling, storage and salvaging of machinery or vehicles not in running condition and for the sale of parts thereof.
KENNEL, COMMERCIAL
Any lot or premises or portion thereof on which more than four dogs, cats and other household domestic animals over four months of age are kept or on which more than two such animals are boarded for compensation or just kept for sale.
LAND USE ACTIVITY
Any construction or other activity which changes the use or appearance of land or a structure or the intensity of use of land or a structure. “Land use activity” shall explicitly include, but not be limited to, the following: new structures, expansions to existing structures, new uses, changes in or expansions of existing uses, roads, driveways, and excavations for the purpose of extracting soil or mineral deposits.
[Added 12-9-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008[1]]
LOCAL WATERFRONT REVITALIZATION PROGRAM (LWRP)
Refers to the Town of Waterford’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program prepared for the New York State Department of State Division of Coastal Resources.
[Added 12-9-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008[2]]
LOT
A portion or parcel of land considered as a unit, devoted to a certain use or occupied by a building or a group of buildings that are united by a common interest or use, and the customary accessories and open spaces belonging to the same.
LOT AREA
See "area, lot."
LOT, CORNER
A lot which has an interior angle of less than 135° at the intersection of two street lines. A lot abutting upon a curved street shall be considered a corner lot if the tangents to the curve at the points of intersection of the side lot lines intersect at an interior angle of less than 135°.
LOT, DEPTH OF
A mean horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines, measured in the general direction of its side lot lines.
LOT LINE
A line of record bounding a lot which divides one lot from another lot or from a public or private street or any other public space.
[Amended 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 9-1997]
LOT LINE, FRONT
The lot line separating a lot from a right-of-way. It shall be measured from the point where one side line intersects with the right-of-way to the other side line that intersects with the right-of-way.
[Added 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 9-1997]
LOT LINE, REAR
The lot line opposite and most distant from the front lot line.
[Added 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 9-1997]
LOT LINE, SIDE
Any lot line other than a front or rear lot line. It shall be measured from the point where it intersects with the front lot line to the point where it intersects with the rear lot line.
[Added 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 9-1997]
LOT, WIDTH OF
The width of a lot at the mid point between the front and rear property lines measured at the shortest point between the two side lines.
[Amended 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 9-1997]
MINIMUM MEAN LOT WIDTH
Shall be equal to the existing minimum frontage width in each respective district.
[Added 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 9-1997]
MOBILE HOME
A vehicle used for living or sleeping purposes and standing on wheels or on rigid supports.
MOBILE HOME PARK
A tract of land where two or more mobile homes are parked or which is used or held out for the purpose of supplying to the public a parking space for two or more mobile homes.
NATURAL PROTECTIVE FEATURE
A characteristic of land that was not directly created or built by humans and serves to protect other lands, man-made structures, or persons from floods, wind, earthquakes, extreme heat or cold, excessive precipitation, erosion or landslides, or any other phenomenon in nature that could result in significant loss of life or property.
[Added 12-9-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008[3]]
NONCONFORMING BUILDING
A building or structure lawfully occupying a portion of a lot, which does not conform to the area, bulk, space, side yard or setback requirements of this chapter or which occupies a lot smaller than that permitted by this chapter.
NONCONFORMING USE
A building, structure or land lawfully occupied by a use that does not conform to the regulations of the district in which it is situated.
NURSERY SCHOOL
A school designed to provide daytime care or instruction for two or more children from two to five years of age, inclusive, and operated on a regular basis.
NURSING OR CONVALESCENT HOME
Any dwelling used for the accommodation and care of persons with or recuperating from illness or incapacity, where nursing services are furnished.
OPEN SPACE
An unoccupied space open to the sky on the same lot with the building.
PARKING SPACE
An off-street space available for the parking of one motor vehicle and having an area of not less than 170 square feet, exclusive of passageways and driveways thereto.
PUBLIC TRUST LANDS
Properties that are considered held by the Town of Waterford or the State of New York due to the fact that they are not deeded to individuals. This may include land under water that is not specifically deeded to a property owner.
[Added 12-9-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008[4]]
SIGN
Any structure or part thereof, or any device attached to a structure or painted or represented on a structure, which shall display or include any letter, word, model, banner, flag, pennant, insignia, device or representation used as or which is in the nature of the announcement, direction or advertisement. A sign includes any billboard, but does not include the flag, pennant or insignia of any nation or group of nations or of any state, city or other political unit or of any political, educational, charitable, philanthropic, civic, professional, religious or like campaign, drive, movement or event. However, a sign, as defined herein, shall not include a similar structure or device located within a building.
(1) 
A sign which directs attention to a business or profession conducted or to products sold upon the same lot. A "for sale" or "to let" sign relating to the lot on which it is displayed shall be deemed a business sign.
(2) 
A sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, service or entertainment conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the same lot.
(3) 
Any sign designed to give forth any artificial light or designed to reflect such light deriving from any source which is intended to cause such light or reflection. A "flashing sign" is an illuminated sign on which the artificial light is not maintained stationary and constant in intensity and color at all times when in use.
STORY
That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it, or, if there is no floor above it, then the space between any floor and the ceiling next above it.
STORY, HALF
A story under a gable, hip or gambrel roof, the wall plates of which, on at least two opposite exterior walls, are not more than two feet above the floor of such story.
STREET
A public or private way which affords the principal means of access to abutting properties.
STRUCTURE
Anything constructed or erected, the use of which requires location on the ground or attachment to something having location on the ground.
THEATER, OUTDOOR
An open lot or part thereof, with its appurtenant facilities, devoted primarily to the showing of moving pictures or theatrical productions, on a paid-admission basis, to patrons seated in automobiles or on outdoor seats.
UNFINISHED BUILDING
A building which does not have a permanent roof, completely enclosed outside walls with the finished materials installed, all glazing in place, a permanent heating system with masonry chimney ready for operation, permanent electric service and sewerage installed.
USE
The specific purpose for which land or a building is designed, arranged or intended or for which it is or may be occupied or maintained. The term "permitted use" or its equivalent shall not be deemed to include any nonconforming use.
WATER-DEPENDENT USE
An activity which requires a location in, on, over, or adjacent to the water because the activities require direct access to water and the use of water is an integral part of the activity. Examples of water-dependent uses include public and private marinas, yacht clubs, boat yards, commercial and recreational fishing facilities, waterborne commerce, ferries, marine educational or laboratory facilities, and water-related public and quasi-public utilities.
[Added 12-9-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008[5]]
WATER-ENHANCED or WATER-RELATED USES
Uses that have no critical dependence on obtaining a waterfront location, but the profitability of the use and/or the enjoyment level of the users is increased significantly when it is adjacent or has visual access to the waterfront.
[Added 12-9-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008[6]]
WETLAND
Includes both tidal wetlands, as defined in Article 25 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, and freshwater wetlands, as defined in Article 24 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law.
[Added 12-9-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008[7]]
YARD (front, side and rear)
An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a main building. The depth (or width) of the yard shall be measured as the least distance between the nearest covered portion of the building and the property line.
ZONING ORDINANCE
The Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Waterford, Saratoga County, New York.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This local law was readopted 2-3-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.
[2]
Editor’s Note: This local law was readopted 2-3-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.
[3]
Editor’s Note: This local law was readopted 2-3-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.
[4]
Editor’s Note: This local law was readopted 2-3-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.
[5]
Editor’s Note: This local law was readopted 2-3-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.
[6]
Editor’s Note: This local law was readopted 2-3-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.
[7]
Editor’s Note: This local law was readopted 2-3-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009.
A. 
Minimum requirements. The provisions of this chapter shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, morals and welfare.
B. 
Relationship with other laws. Where the conditions imposed by any provision of this chapter upon the use of land or buildings or upon the bulk of buildings are either more restrictive or less restrictive than comparable conditions imposed by any other provisions of this chapter or any other law, ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation of any kind, the regulations which are more restrictive or which impose higher standards or requirements shall govern.
C. 
Effect on existing agreements. This chapter is not intended to abrogate any easement, covenant or any other private agreement, provided that, where the regulations of this chapter are more restrictive or impose higher standards or requirements than such easements, covenants or other private agreements, the requirements of this chapter shall govern.
A. 
Application. Except as hereinafter provided:
(1) 
No building or land shall hereafter be used or occupied and no building or part thereof shall be erected, moved or altered unless in conformity with the regulations herein specified for the district in which it is located.
(2) 
No building shall hereafter be erected or altered to exceed the height, to accommodate or house a greater number of families, to occupy a greater percentage of lot area or to have narrower or smaller rear yards, front yards, side yards or inner or outer courts than is specified herein for the district in which such building is located.
(3) 
No part of a yard or other open space about any building, required for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this chapter, shall be included as a part of a yard or other open space similarly required for another building.
(4) 
No lot, yard, setback, parking area or other space shall be so reduced in area, dimension or capacity as to make said area, dimension or capacity less than the minimum required under this chapter. If already less than the minimum required under this chapter, said area, dimension or capacity shall not be further reduced.
B. 
Building permits. No building or structure shall be erected, added to or structurally altered until a building permit has been issued, as specified in Article VI, signifying that the building or structure and proposed use thereof complies with the provisions of this chapter. This provision shall not apply to any building or structure used for a nonconforming use on the date of enactment of this chapter, so long as the building or structure is continued in use for the same purpose.
C. 
Certificates of occupancy. No land shall be changed in use, and no building or structure hereafter erected, altered or extended shall be used or changed in use, until a certificate of occupancy has been issued, as specified in Article VI, signifying that such use or change in use complies with the provisions of this chapter. This provision shall not apply to any land or building used for a nonconforming use on the date of this chapter, so long as the land or building involved is continued in use for the same purpose.
D. 
Responsibility. The final responsibility for the conforming of buildings and use to the requirements of this chapter shall rest with the owner or owners of such building or use and the property on which it is located.
E. 
Validity of permit. Any building on which the construction has been lawfully started and diligently prosecuted before the effective date of this chapter may be completed. The entire building shall be completed within two years from the date of this chapter and in accordance with such plans as originally filed.
A. 
Contiguous parcels. When two or more parcels of land lack adequate area and dimension to meet the minimum standards for the use district in which they are located, are contiguous and are held in one ownership, they shall be used as one zoning lot or, if possible, be resubdivided to conform to district standards.
B. 
Lots or parcels of land of record. Any single lot or parcel of land held in one ownership which was of record at the time of adoption of this chapter, and when the owner owns no contiguous parcels of land, that does not meet the requirements for minimum lot width and area may be utilized for a permitted use, provided that yards, courts or usable open spaces are not less than 75% of the minimum required dimensions of areas.
Except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, every building shall be constructed or erected upon a lot or parcel of land which abuts upon an existing or platted street, unless a permanent easement of access to a public street was of record prior to the adoption of this chapter.
[Amended 8-6-1968; 11-29-1990; 2-27-1997 by L.L. No. 3-1997; 10-7-1997 by L.L. No. 6-1997; 3-3-2009 by L.L. No. 10-2009]
The Town of Waterford is hereby divided into the following zoning districts:
R-75
Residence District
R-100
Residence District
R-Rural
Residential District
C-1
Commercial District
C-2
Commercial District
C-3
Commercial District
M-1
Manufacturing District
L-C
Land Conservation District
M-2
Industrial District
WO
Waterfront Overlay District
The locations and boundaries of the zoning districts hereby established are shown on a map entitled "Zoning Map of the Town of Waterford, N.Y." This Zoning Map and all notations, references and other information shown thereon accompanies this chapter as Appendix A.[1] The Town Board shall cause to be delineated on the Zoning Map, by a qualified person, all amendments to the district boundaries which are authorized by ordinance, immediately upon the effective date of such ordinance, indicating the title and date of the ordinance.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is included at the end of this chapter.
Where uncertainty exists as to the locations of any boundaries shown on the Zoning Map, the following rules shall apply:
A. 
District boundary lines are intended to follow center lines of streets or alleys, rights-of-way, watercourses or lot lines, or be parallel or perpendicular thereto, unless such boundary lines are fixed by dimensions as shown on the Zoning Map.
B. 
Where such boundaries are indicated as approximately following lot lines, such lot lines shall be construed to be such boundaries.
C. 
Where a district boundary divides a lot, the location of such boundary, unless the same is indicated by dimensions shown on the map, shall be determined by the use of the scale appearing thereon, after accurate placement of the lot on the map is determined to ensure accurate measurement by use of the scale.
D. 
If, after the application of the foregoing rules, uncertainty exists as to the exact location of a district boundary, the Board of Appeals shall determine and fix the location of said line.
E. 
Where a district boundary line divides a lot of record held in one ownership at the time of adoption of said district line, the regulations for the less-restricted portion of such lot shall apply to the remainder of said lot up to a distance of not more than 50 feet from said district line.
F. 
Any land hereafter annexed to or consolidated with the Town of Waterford shall be deemed to be zoned R-100 until said land is reclassified by an amendment to this chapter.